May 9, 2019
John Vomhof Jr.Staff Writer
After wrapping up a busy day of meetings at the Best Buy headquarters on Tuesday, a group of Geek Squad Autotechs from across the country returned to their hotel to relax. Little did they know they were about to save a man’s life.
Ethan Kimmel of Portland, Oregon, and Nick Potter of Naples, Florida, were hanging out in the bar area, talking to some fellow Geek Squad Agents, when someone in the group pointed out what he thought was a man assaulting an older man about 20 yards away.
“I looked over, and I saw an older gentleman attempting to do the Heimlich, and the other guy was holding his throat,” Ethan said. “Immediately, my only reaction was to go and do something.”
The Agents ran over to help, and Ethan attempted to apply the Heimlich. But, at 6-foot-4, it was difficult for him to do so effectively because the choking man was much shorter.
“So, I tapped him out,” said Nick, who’s about 5-foot-8. “I was like, ‘I’ve got this.’”
It worked. The man started wheezing and breathing again. The Agents told hotel employees to call 911, then stayed with the man to make sure he was doing OK.
About five minutes later, police and paramedics arrived at the hotel.
“They gave him a breathing mask for a little bit, then ended up letting him go on his way,” Nick said.
Looking back, both Agents said they were glad to be in the right place at the right time to help. Ethan received combat medical training while in the Army, and Nick trained as an emergency medical technician in Ohio for two years. But neither had used those skills in real life.
“There wasn’t much time to really think about the situation,” Ethan said. “I saw it and immediately just got up and went over there, because I don’t really know what else to do in that situation but help.”
“I would hope that if I was choking somebody would do the same thing for me,” Nick added.
Pictured: Ethan Kimmel, left, and Nick Potter are Geek Squad Autotechs.